HOWTO make hydrophobic rain-only street art

NathanSharratt from entered a Home Depot contest and hit on the idea of stenciling street art with hydrophobic NeverWet stuff, producing designs that are only visible when it rains.

Step 1: You need a stencil. You can do something simple or use an image that includes a fair amount of detail. I created my own stencils from cardboard, but there's no reason you can't use a ready-made or store-bought stencil. Just know that NeverWet will get sprayed on that, too.

Step 2: Place stencil on concrete. I recommend that you only try this on light-colored concrete for best results. I also used a repositionable adhesive spray on the back of my stencils to keep them securely in place. Depending on the complexity and material of your stencil, you may be able to get away with just using tape to hold it down, or maybe using nothing at all. If your stencil is as complicated as mine pictured above, you'll definitely need to adhere it down.

Step 3: Spray the NeverWet into the cut-out areas of your stencil according to the manufacturer's instructions found on the label. I did two base coats and two top coats.

Step 4: After waiting for the recommended amount of time (see NeverWet instructions), remove your stencil. If you look closely, you will probably be able to see the light, translucent residue that the NeverWet leaves behind.

Make Rain Drawings with NeverWet! (Thanks, Bloo!)

Notable Replies

  1. Spocko says:

    I'm going to make a stencil for the sidewalk at the bus stop that says
    "I'm only happy" and leave out "When it Rains" part. I want the viewer to be engaged.

    Make a few political statements.
    "Was this rainstorm brought to you by man made climate change?"

    Of course the first thought of some ad guy will be, "Think of the marketing potential!"
    "Get your umbrellas and rain gear at Walgreens at 3rd and Market!"

  2. We used to do something like this in NM with spray bottles and vegetable oil.

  3. I need to ask if that stuff will protect you from rabies. Thanks, I'll be going now.

  4. Nice, I wonder how long it lasts before the never wet coat gets worn down? Does a jet wash remove it?

  5. this just made me think of covering a walkway with never wet...
    if it rains the walkway will be dry.
    it will never get ice because the water wont stay to freeze
    if it gets snow you can literally spray it off with a garden hose and it won't freeze (see above)

    wonder how long it would hold up though to summer heat and winter indiana...

Continue the discussion

12 more replies